CSA Survival Handbook

Photo by Claire Matern for Local Roots NYC

The first time I joined a CSA (community-sourced agriculture), I was baffled by the four heads of lettuce I needed to consume that week. This was half of a farm share! I swore off CSAs for a while because I was creating more food waste than actually enjoying regional produce.

Last year, I joined Local Roots, a company that curates farm shares from within 2 hours of New York City. It doesn’t feel like too many vegetables. Plus, they had a pickup location at a bar near my apartment in Greenpoint. You can mix and match meats, dairy, and other items. You can pause it (crucial for travelers!).

Here are all the recipes that I’ve created with my CSA shares and lessons learned along the way. I’ll be updating this post as I keep creating new ways to enjoy my share.

Meal Planning

The Sunday roast: Set aside Sunday evenings (or any evening, really) for a big roast. Chop up all of your hearty vegetables, line them up on baking sheets in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees F until they are fork-soft and their edges brown. Let them cool and store in air-tight containers in the fridge. Now you have prepped vegetables for your week.

You can pickle that: I really mean it. You can pickle that. Parboil or roast hard root vegetables like potatoes, beets and turnip before pickling them. Leafy stuff pickles quickly and won’t last through the week.

Relish it: Turn any pickle into a relish by chopping it up or running it through a food processor.

Save scraps: Vegetable stems, scraps, peels, cobs and hard cheese rinds can be saved in a plastic bag in the freezer. Dump it into a crock pot with enough water to cover to make an easy broth while you work. Strain it, cool it and store it!

But my freezer is full: Your local farmer’s market or community garden might have a compost drop off. Check with them before leaving mysterious bags at their gate.

Mains, Remixed

Beautiful Brekkie

Surprising Sides

Snacky Snacks

Slatherin’ Sauces & Sprinkles

A tutorial created by me and Alejandra Sanchez at Kickstarter HQ

Got CSA questions? Don’t know what to do with that kohlrabi? Comment here and I’ll see how I can help.

Bookmark this story to see new recipes as I publish them weekly on the Local Roots website.